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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Burger King Drops Wallets with $100 Bills in Them

by Eick

A handful of bloggers have been abuzz in the past week with news of the latest under-the-radar Burger King promotion. The fast food chain has dispensed agents across major U.S. cities (indications are it’s just been Chicago and Orlando so far) to “lose” wallets. However, when unsuspecting passersby find these wallets and open them, they discover an interesting message:

Yep, the wallets include notes telling the individuals who find them to go ahead and keep the wallets. Time Out Chicago reported on November 12th that Burger King planned to drop 5,000 of these wallets around urban hot spots in Chicago. According to reports from bloggers, the wallets contain actual cash, ranging from a $1 bill to a $100 bill, a gift card to Burger King, a “Drivers License” featuring The King, and a map of Chicago or Orlando area Burger King’s.

Several bloggers have posted about their experience, or their friend’s experience, finding one of these wallets. See HERE, HERE and HERE for more on their stories. A couple of PR and marketing bloggers are weighing in as well, praising the promotion and calling it “unexpected and well-timed” given the current state of the economy.

This story hasn’t even bubbled up to the mainstream media yet. A Google News search for “Burger King” + “wallet” yields only one mainstream media story, from an NBC station in Chicago. Nor have stories about this promotion appeared yet on major marketing sites such as Adage or Adfreak.

This is a brilliant marketing move, and the mainstream media is obviously lagging behind on discovering it - but creative and unique marketing ideas like this one don’t go unnoticed forever. I expect much more widespread attention for this promotion as the word-of-mouth affect begins to trickle up the mainstream media.

Pictures via

Derek Jeter’s 10 Hottest (Alleged) Conquests

On the field, he hasn’t brought the Yankees a ring since 2000. Off the field, his game has never faltered.

10. Jordana Brewster - The Fast And the Furious belle had a brief hold on DJ. Rumor goes that after he stole home plate, he skipped out on her 26th birthday party. He was spotted about a month later at a Scores strip club, putting his World Series bonus to use.


9. Mariah Carey - Reports say that Jeter had a short stop with Tommy Motolla’s old ball and chain. After making her hit those high notes, he allegedly lost interest in her honey. Let’s hope there is a diss record on Mariah’s next album.


8. Tyra Banks - Gossip hounds were thrown into a tizzy when word circulated that Derek had traded in his latest MVP for Tyra Banks. That rumor was squashed when the public realized that Jeter’s boasts of getting “four head” was not a pun on Tyra’s second-biggest asset.


7. Lara Dutta - This former Miss Universe supposedly caught Jeter’s eye after her appearance on Regis and Kelly. Dutta then mysteriously received a pair of tickets to a Yankee game, after which Derek tried to get into her dugout.


6. Vanessa Minnillo - When she was only a few years too old for an R. Kelly home video, Nick Lachey’s current honey—and former Miss Teen USA—was said to have gotten it on with the shortstop. It’s amazing what the promise of tickets to an Omarion concert can do.


5. Minka Kelly - Rumored to be Jeter’s current squeeze, the 28-year-old Friday Night Lights star was pictured with the shortstop at a recent University of Texas game. The couple are currently set for a February 2009 breakup.


4. Jessica Alba - Honey’s dance diva was seen bustin’ a move with the Yankee at Hollywood’s Spider Club. We’ll bet money that her current beau Cash Warren didn’t approve.


3. Adriana Lima - Jeter met the Brazilian supermodel while shooting a commercial and began dating her soon after. We’re wondering if Lima’s public claim that she’s a virgin had anything to do with their quick breakup.


2. Jessica Biel - One of Jeter’s confirmed conquest, the Stealth star was photographed playing volleyball with DJ on the beach. While Jessica took the relationship seriously, Derek was just attempting to finish bedding every girl on the Maxim Hot 100 list..


1. Scarlett Johansson - Though she slammed the rumors, the Jetster was reported to have been softhousing it with Scarlett while she was dating Jared Leto. If we were Leto, we’d have plotted with Boston Red Sox coach Bill Haselman to give Jeter the Tonya Harding special. —Christian Blanco

From Kung-Fu Panda to He-Man?!

By El Mayimbe

According to my sources, one of my favorite projects got itself a director. Supposedly, Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson went in to the Silver offices, came in and did this killer take on He-man and the Masters of the Universe and got himself the job!

Apparently, the He-Man movie is not dead after all. I hear Stevenson's presenation razzle dazzled the execs.

I honestly don't know how I feel about the guy because I never saw Kung Fu Panda. On one hand, I'm excited that the project is still active, on the other I'm not really sure if Stevenson is the right choice.

According to imdb, Stevenson has an animation and an art department background.


Expect a formal announcement and stay tuned as more develops.

Freaky Chick Has Cool Trick

Don't even know where to start with this one......

Further Evidence of King Herod's Grave Site Revealed

Analysis of newly revealed items found at the site of the mausoleum of King Herod at Herodium (Herodion in Greek) have provided Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeological researchers with further assurances that this was indeed the site of the famed ruler’s 1st century BCE grave.

Herod was the Roman-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 BCE, who was renowned for his many monumental building projects, including the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the palace at Masada, the harbor and city of Caesarea, as well as the palatial complex at Herodium, 15 kilometers south of Jerusalem.

Cover of the white decorated sarcophagus (photo: Gabi Laron)
Cover of the white decorated sarcophagus (photo: Gabi Laron)
On the basis of a study of the architectural elements uncovered at the site, the researchers have been able to determine that the mausoleum, among the remains of which Herod’s sarcophagus was found, was a lavish two-story structure with a concave-conical roof, about 25 meters high — a structure fully appropriate to Herod’s status and taste. The excavations there have also yielded many fragments of two additional sarcophagi, which the researchers estimate to have been members of Herod’s family.

The mausoleum, says Prof. Ehud Netzer, director of the excavations, was deliberately destroyed by the Jewish rebels who occupied the site during the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans which started in about 66 CE.

Also found in the latest excavations are the remains of an intimate theater just below and to the west of the mausoleum, with seats for some 650-750 spectators, and a loggia (a kind of VIP viewing and hospitality room) located at the top of the theater seats and decorated with wall paintings and plaster moldings in a style that has not been seen thus far in Israel. The style is known to have existed in Rome and Campania in Italy and is dateable between 15 and 10 BCE. Thus far only one wall painting scene has been found intact, though there are traces of others in the room.

The dating of the wall paintings makes it reasonable to assume, says Prof. Netzer, that the construction of the theater might be linked to Roman general and politician Marcus Agrippa’s visit to Herodium in 15 BCE. The theater and its lavish loggia were deliberately destroyed for the creation of the conical artificial mount that constitutes the widely known popular image of the Herodium site and that apparently was built at the very end of Herod's reign.

Prof. Netzer is convinced that Herodium would never have been built had it not been for Herod’s known determination, made at the beginning of his career, to be buried in this isolated, arid area. He undoubtedly personally chose the exact location for his mausoleum since it overlooks Jerusalem and its surroundings. This led to his decision to make the entire complex the “crowning glory” of his outstanding building career and to name it after himself.

The extensive site, which probably will not be fully excavated for many years to come, if ever, includes a huge palatial complex, the theater, and a “country club” of sorts, including a large pool, baths and gardens, in addition to Herod’s burial installations and mausoleum. The palace was the largest of its kind in the Roman world of that time and must have attracted yearly hundreds, if not thousands, of guests, says Prof. Netzer.

A description of Herodium, as well as of Herod’s funeral procession there, can be found in the writings of the ancient Roman-era historian, Flavius Josephus. The excavations, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have been conducted with the assistance of the Israel Exploration Society, with contributions by individuals and the Yad Hanadiv Foundation. There also has been financial aid from the National Geographic Society. Also collaborating in the excavations are the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2010, the Israel Museum will launch an exhibition of the findings.

Working with Prof. Netzer at the site have been Yaakov Kalman, Roi Porath and Rachel Chachy-Laureys of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Restoration work of the coffins was carried out by Orna Cohen, and the laboratory of the Israel Museum helped with the consolidation of the wall paintings.

Prof. Netzer is hopeful that with the further findings at Herodium, there will be increased visits to the site by Israelis and tourists, and that the overall area might be converted into a national park.

Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said that “the Gush Etzion Regional Council views the Herodium National Park as an important historic site worthy of great investment in order to assure its preservation. In recent years, the council has worked diligently in order to preserve and develop the site through the investment of millions of shekels, half of which has been devoted to the excavations by Prof. Netzer, and half in the development of the visitor facilities there. Additionally, the council also allocates significant sums every year in publicizing the site, along with the Nature and Parks Authority.”

Dr. Netzer's work is the cover story of the December issue of National Geographic magazine, published in English and 31 local-language editions. In addition, a documentary film on the subject, "Herod’s Lost Tomb," will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 9 p.m. (Eastern U.S. Time and Pacific Time) on the National Geographic Channel-US and internationally at various times in 166 countries, beginning in late November.

Prof. Netzer admires painted window of the theater's loggia

Prof. Netzer admires painted window of the theater's loggia

Will Smith and Tony Romo Crash Texas High School Pep Rally — Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Fresh Prince Will Smith stopped by a Texas High School Pep Rally and helped get the crowd pumped up. In a related story, 12 Texan teens for the first time ever have a legitimate reason for feeling stupid they ditched a pep rally.

Big cat fossil found in North Sea

By Paul Rincon
Science Reporter, BBC News

Sabre tooth reconstruction (Dick Mol)
Sabre-tooths roamed an ancient landscape now subsumed by the North Sea

The partial leg bone of a sabre-toothed cat has been dredged from the seabed by a trawler in the North Sea.

The rare fossil, which is between one and two million years old and was found near the UK coast, is from a type of sabre-tooth called a scimitar cat.

According to palaeontologist Dick Mol, it belonged to an animal that was as heavy as a small horse.

It is the furthest north this species has ever been found, and the first time remains have come from the North Sea.

The dry steppe landscape, criss-crossed by rivers, where animals such as the scimitar cat once roamed was flooded at the end of the last Ice Age.

It was like the Serengeti, but in our back garden
Dick Mol, Natural History Museum in Rotterdam
The fossil remains of more common extinct beasts such as the mammoth are routinely recovered from the sea by trawlers.

Beam trawlers use special gear to touch the sea bed, capturing flatfish lying in the sand. But this also stirs up shallow, buried fossil remains which can end up in the nets.

In the Netherlands, trawlermen are paid up to 100 euros for such discoveries.

Mr Mol, who is based at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, said the partial humerus belonged to a "huge" (probably male) cat that weighed about 400kg (881lbs).

Homotherium fossil (Natural History Museum Rotterdam)
Two views of the fossil, netted by a trawler in the North Sea

The fossil, which was encrusted with tiny, coral-like sea creatures called bryozoans, was brought ashore by the owner of the Dutch trawler TX 1.

He then handed it to a collector, who passed it on to Mr Mol for identification.

It had been netted in the southern bend of the North Sea, an area known to yield fossils from every period of the Pleistocene. This epoch lasted either from 2.6 or 1.8 million years ago (depending on which expert you ask) until 10,000 years ago.

Warm spell

Dick Mol said the weight of the bone was an immediate indication that much of its organic matter had been converted to minerals.

Mammoth bone (Hans (J.J.) Wildschut)
The remains of Ice Age animals are routinely netted by Dutch trawlers
The heavy mineralisation suggested it dated to the early part of the Pleistocene.

Other Early Pleistocene animals recovered from this part of the North Sea include elephant-like mastodon, southern mammoth, hippopotamus, horses, bears and giant deer.

Mr Mol and his colleague Wilrie van Logchem compared the big cat with specimens from the site of Untermassfeld in Germany, where a very similar complement of Early Pleistocene animals has been found.

They identified the find as a fragment of front leg from the scimitar cat Homotherium crenatidens.

The Rotterdam-based researcher said the sabre-tooth could have inhabited this part of North-West Europe during a warm spell between glaciations.

Top predator

"The fauna we are dealing with - the southern mammoth, the hippo, the giant deer and this sabre-toothed cat - were adapted to a savannah-like environment," Mr Mol told BBC News.

"[The cat] was probably living in the forest that bordered on the river banks."

He added: "It was like the Serengeti, but in our back garden."

Homotherium fossil (Natural History Museum Rotterdam)
The researchers compared the fossil with others from the Early Pleistocene
Analysis of the North Sea fossil suggested it was probably bigger than other H. crenatidens specimens known from Untermassfeld and from the Massif Central in southern France.

Mr Mol explained: "If we look at the bone, we can see that it was a huge animal - probably a male individual."

"We have to understand that sabre-toothed cats are specialised hunters at the top of the food chain. So they are already very rare."

The remains of only one other sabre-toothed cat - a much younger species called Homotherium latidens - have previously been recovered from the North Sea.

Scientists think the huge canines that characterise these cats were remarkably fragile. So the animals probably sank their "sabre-teeth" into the fleshy necks of their prey, avoiding bones that might crack these delicate mouth ornaments.

The big cats would then wait for the unlucky animal to die from blood loss.

Guns N' Roses album to debut on MySpace

Posted by Steven Musil

Guns N' Roses fans who have waited 17 years to hear the rock band's new album are mere hours from having their patience rewarded with a free Web debut before it goes on sale next week.

Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy will make its debut on the band's MySpace page starting Thursday, according to a Reuters report Wednesday. Fans will be able to stream the album for free before it goes on sale Sunday in an exclusive deal with Best Buy. Listeners, however, will not be able to download tracks from the site.

Also reported to be debuting Thursday was Electric Arguments by Paul McCartney's side project group, The Fireman. However, Eliot Van Buskirk at noted that NPR Music got the jump on MySpace by beginning its streaming of the album Tuesday.

The News Corp.-owned social network launched its MySpace Music service in September with the backing of the four largest recording companies. The service represents the most significant challenge to Apple--at least in terms of firepower--in some time. The site offers free streaming music and sells unprotected MP3 downloads, ringtones, and merchandise.

MySpace has long been a place where bands market their wares to the Web. According to MySpace, 65 percent of its users already have streaming music on their profiles and 6 billion songs are played every month.

The free exposure for fledgling performers sometimes has big payouts. The rock band Boston recently hired its new lead singer from a fan's tribute page on the social-networking site.

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers. E-mail Steven.

Honda FC Sport: Hydrogen Sports Car Concept Of The Future

By Matt Hardigree,
Honda surprised the motoring world today with the release of the radical and futuristic Honda FC Sport, a three-seat Hydrogen-powered design study that hints at the future of Honda sports cars to come. Using the Honda V Flow fuel cell setup already found in the Honda FCX Clarity, the FC Sport is the supercar to the FCX's stately sedan. The stunning design is meant to invoke the concept of a high-performance, low-weight hydrogen sports car. Press release and more details below the jump.

Honda FC Sport Live

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Honda FC Sport

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Honda FC Sport Design Study Suggests Hydrogen Sports Car Future

Innovative fuel cell packaging demonstrates green performance potential

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2008 – Honda today revealed the Honda FC Sport design study model, a hydrogen-powered, three-seat sports car concept, at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The FC Sport emphasizes the design flexibility and potential of Honda’s V Flow fuel cell technology – already deployed in the Honda FCX Clarity sedan – and reconfigures it into a lightweight sports car design with an ultra-low center of gravity, powerful electric motor performance and zero-emissions. The design study concept is inspired by supercar levels of performance through low weight and a high-performance, electrically driven fuel cell powertrain.
“The Honda FC Sport explores how to satisfy automotive performance enthusiasts in a world beyond petroleum,” said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “People who love sports cars will still have a reason to love in a hydrogen-powered future.”
The high-output Honda fuel cell powertrain and a sleek, aerodynamic body contribute to the vehicle’s performance potential. A modular approach to fuel cell component packaging and the electric drivetrain contribute to the FC Sport’s low center of gravity with the majority of vehicle mass distributed between the axles, creating the balanced weight distribution sought after in sports cars.